On his second birthday as King
Thimphu, February 20, 2009: The youngest monarch of today’s world King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck turns 29 on Saturday celebrating his second birthday as king. Born on February 21, 1980 the fifth Dragon King and head of the Wangchuck dynasty became king on December 14, 2006, and was officially crowned on November 6, 2008.
Eldest son Jigme Singye Wangchuck form third wife Queen Tshering Yangdon, unmarried King Khesar has a younger sister, Princess Dechen Yangzom, and brother, Prince Jigme Dorji, as well as four half-sisters and three half-brothers.
He completed his basic education in Bhutan and Kalimpong in India, the king studied at Phillips Academy (Andover), Cushing Academy and Wheaton College in Massachusetts, United States, before graduating from Magdalen College, University of Oxford, UK. He completed MPhil on Foreign Service Program and Politics from Oxford.
The king as head of the state has participated in two parliamentary debates where electoral laws, land reform and other important issues including census categorization in southern Bhutan were deliberated. In his speeches as king, he has stressed that the new generation for Bhutanese was to ensure the success of democracy and maintaining peace prosperity in the country. However, he hasn’t spoken anything about the situation in eastern and southern districts created during his father’s rule.
Signing a new treaty with India in February 2007 replacing the treaty of 1949, the latter providing greater liberty to Bhutan on its foreign policy is his notable achievement.
From this year, the government has announced three-day national holidays for his birthday celebration, cutting down the holidays for his father’s birthday.
When he celebrates his second birthday as king of Bhutan, it is very short to predict how kingly would his rule be but failing to meet the aspirations and expectations from the people will obviously tarnish his image to be worse than his father. Wishing him for better life and better kingship: hope Bhutan will see justice in his time.